Songs for Shakespeare's Plays

These compositions by Jon Corelis listed on this web site are intended in particular to be used in the performance of Shakespeare plays. Most of them are songs from the plays, a few are Renaissance instrumentals which may be used as incidental music, and a few others are songs not by Shakespeare but from his time, included because they may be of related interest, possibly for use as incidental or entr'acte music.

I'll be glad to correspond with anyone interested in using these pieces in performance, and to work with the company to revise them to meet their performance needs. I'd also be open to composing melodies for songs that aren't yet on this web site. I'd welcome inquiries from any sort of theatrical troupe, from high school drama classes to professional companies and all levels in between. In most cases I’d be willing to give permission to use these songs free of charge, in return for the exposure, to any amateur, semi-professional, or community theater, or in general any company whose performances don’t regularly show a significant profit. I wouldn’t feel that persons who made inquiries would be obliged to accept my compositions for performance, and I’d be glad to revise scores where desired to better meet performance needs.

Please note that these compositions, including those incorporating or adapting public domain music, are under copyright and may not be performed, recorded, or distributed without permission. Those interested in using them can visit my permissions page. You may also send me a message if you have an account on SoundCloud or MuseScore.

Some of the melodies are original with me, others are adapted (usually with extensive revision) from versions by others or from traditional folk melodies. In all cases where the music is not completely original with me, it has been adapted from sources printed before 1924. Lyrics are also taken from such sources, sometimes with minor revisions. Unless otherwise noted, lyrics are from The Complete Works of Shakespeare ed. W. J. Craig 1923.

The sound files were created with software using choral ahs for the vocals, even where the vocal part is supposed to be solo. Score display and audio are publicly accessible on Musescore Songs by Shakespeare and His Contemporaries. That page lists all songs, but for convenience they are also linked separately below.

This site and the linked Musescore page will be updated regularly with new compositions. Current version is 20 October 2021.

The compete page of songs is here.

For convenience, links to individual songs on the page are also given below.

From Measure for Measure:

From A Midsummer Night's Dream:

From Hamlet:

From Twelfth Night:

From Much Ado About Nothing

From As You Like It:

From Othello:

From Macbeth:

From Two Gentlemen of Verona:

From The Tempest:

From Love's Labour's Lost:

Other songs from the age of Shakespeare:

Image: Procession of Characters from Shakespeare's Plays, painter unknown, from Google Art Project